Heritage doyenne Phyllis Lambert weighs in on Maison Alcan and criticizes lack of city planning

Montreal Gazette

Mayor Denis Coderre’s approach to dealing with development projects is “willy nilly” and is sending Montreal back to an era when a lack of planning and a disregard for heritage and consultation reigned, says architect and urban planning activist Phyllis Lambert.

Riled by Coderre’s defence of a plan by a developer to gut part of the Maison Alcan complex on Sherbrooke St. W. to erect a 30-storey office tower, the mayor’s recent pronouncement in favour of large-scale residential construction on natural space in Pierrefonds and plans to raise the permitted height of high-rises in such disparate places as the Gay Village, Lambert says it’s a throwback to the era of Jean Drapeau, when a strong-willed mayor determined what projects got the green light.

“We’re back to the ’80s,” Lambert, the founder of the Canadian Centre for Architecture and doyenne of the preservation movement in Montreal, said in an interview after returning home from abroad last…

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